Terry Sloan

Licensed Professional Counselor at Your Service

Communication 101 Real Q&A

The Real Life Questions and Answers forum is the place where you get a chance to send in your real-life questions for real-life advice. Submitted questions are blended together in a way that conceals any personal details, and answers include research references so that future readers can benefit from the explorations of others.


Dear Terry,
MY communication is fine, it’s my partner that needs communication skills!!  How do I make them get it?
– Wit’s End!

Dear ‘Wit’s End’,
Maybe you need to draw them a picture – Seriously! Communication is an area that we all can learn new things about.  We are constantly being given opportunities to practice our new skills.  If your partner doesn’t seem to be “getting it”, keep doing your best to model good communication styles – and I do mean styleS, plural! Check out the content in the Communication 101 workshop for fresh ideas on how to reach your partner. To a visual learner, a picture may really be worth a thousand words.


Dear Terry,
Is there an easy way to know the difference between a feeling and a thought? It seems obvious when I’m reading about it in your workshop, but later when I’m trying to explain myself, everything gets confused.
– Feels Like A Thought

Dear ‘Feels Like A Thought’,
You’re closer than you think to sorting this out! If it “feel like” _______, that means it’s a thought in disguise. Let me explain. Emotions or feelings are one-word expressions of our internal emotional state.  I feel ________.  (notice the period).  Nothing comes after that.  It is a three word sentence, with no “like, that, as if” or any filler before the black or any more words after the blank.  “I feel like” is a common stand-in for “I believe” or “I think”. A feeling might also be phrased:  “I am _________.”  The types of feeling words that go in those blanks are:
happy, mad, glad, sad, scared, disappointed, etc.


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